One of my favorite things about traveling is the opportunities to sample local cuisines. Whenever I travel, I try to avoid chain places and seek out local establishments to eat at. As a result, I’ve gotten to try everything from smoked salmon in Seattle; poutine in Whistler, B.C.; philly cheesesteaks in Philadelphia; conch fritters in the Bahamas; and much more. With some research and a sense of adventure, it has been easy to find local spots. Before going on a trip, I like to hop on Google or another search engine and find recommendations for the best places to go. I also ask friends who have been in the area before for their recommendations. Finally, websites like TripAdvisor

The Conch Fritters Bar and Grill in Nassau.

The Conch Fritters Bar and Grill in Nassau.

not only provides recommendations on what’s good but also how to get to the restaurant, whether by car or by the local transit system.

While I normally don’t eat in chain places, it is fun to stop into a McDonalds in other countries to see what they offer besides Big Macs and fries. On my first trip out of the US, I was in Quebec City. I stopped in and saw that they had poutine on the menu. I’m also guilty of eating at a chain place if the chain doesn’t have any locations near me, like Tim Horton’s in Canada.

But with all that eating out, I can’t say that I’ve done my own cooking while traveling. I’m never in one place long enough to do so. But if I have the misfortune of being stuck in a hotel room someplace where there’s few dining options, I can always use the hotel coffeepot to whip up a meal as one website suggests. Although I’d have to draw the line at trying to fry bacon on an iron.